Thursday, May 27, 2010

Reaching the Halfway Point

Leaving Mooloolaba seems like a long time ago now as I sit here typing this blog in Cairns. We travelled the 1680km and finally arrived in Cairns on Sunday to meet with Jen and Nick and have a few days out of the camper at Sue and Eric's lovely home in Edgehill in Cairns. Last time I wrote we were on the verge of ticking off one of our 'bucket list' items, visiting the Great Barrier Reef. We headed out at 7am by courtesy bus to the marina where our large cruise ship was awaiting to take us out to the reef. On boarding the ship we all rushed quickly to the top deck (of three decks) to get what we imagined would be the prize spot to sit. It was a beautiful view from the top deck as we slowly meandered through the marina and out of the harbour of airlie beach heading for hook reef. Once clear of the marina the captain put his foot down and fired up the large engines and we were off. Our prize location quickly became a very windy and very cold spot to sit and we all ventured back down in to the lounge deck for morning cuppas and to hear a little more about our journey. The trip to the reef was to take 3.5 hours via daydream and hayman islands and one other resort before landing at the pontoon on hook reef. On the way out there the crew briefed us on what activities were available to us to experience. If we were prepared to pay for it we had the option of a helicopter ride over the reef, a massage, a guided snorkel tour and a scuba dive. Bec and I reviewed all of the options and decided we would give the girls a guided snorkel tour and Bec and I would do a scuba dive. Remember this is the girl who was terrified of snorkelling only a matter of weeks ago now signing up to go up to 6 metres below sea level on a scuba dive. We had a briefing on the ship which was a bit of a challenge with Gus clearly not interested in what the gentleman was trying to explain but we managed to get the gist of it. While we were receiving the briefing the girls were visited by the onboard marine biologist who sat with the girls for quite some time answering all of their questions and pointing out some facts about the reef and what to look for when they go snorkelling.

We had some morning tea on the trip and did our best to evade the oncoming sea sickness, the girls were fine but tired after the early start. After what seemed like an eternity we finally saw in the distance the pontoon appear like a mirage on the horizon. There was an immediate buzz in the cabin as people started jumping up to get a headstart and get on board. We were very fortunate only to have about 50 people on board a ship that caters for over 300! Bec and I had received our scuba dive times, unfortunately we had to go at separate times due to having Gus on board. We arrived at the pontoon and immediately went on the submerged boat to have a tour of the reef. After this the girls went on the glass bottom boat and I went for my scuba dive. The dive was pretty exhilarating, the fear of doing something you have never tried before combined with the obvious lack of skill and experience should something go wrong down there. We got our stinger suits on, our tank, flippers and goggles and heading down the stairs into the scuba chamber to have a quick briefing and test session before heading out down to the reef. The dive went for about 30 minutes and was amazing to get down below and see what happens under the surface. The reef had been quite badly damaged by a recent cyclone and the overall visibility was relatively poor but nevertheless the whole experience was one that Bec and I had wanted to do for a long time. It was amazing. After I returned Bec was pretty much straight into her dive and went through the whole routine. She had a few nervous moments waiting for her instructor and another nervous diver who eventually pulled out after several attempts to get started. I think this probably helped Bec take the focus of her own worries as she watched this poor lady battle her fears. Bec was a champion as always and handled the dive like a seasoned professional, coming out of the water with a smile from ear to ear. Meanwhile the girls who had spent their whole time going up and down the on board water slide had to get ready for their guided snorkel tour. They were very excited and had a lovely young girl take them out to the reef with their snorkels, goggles and flippers on. They had a great time and learnt a lot about our precious reef. The water was a bit choppy, the wind quite cool and the visibility average but the day was still a day to remember and one that we were very excited to have had the opportunity to experience. We packed up our gear and boarded the boat for the long road home. The crew put on the movie Nemo which kept Gus quiet for most of the way home as Indy stretched out on the couch upstairs and took a little nap.

The next few days in Airlie Beach were fairly quiet and recovering from our big tour of the reef. The park was good for the kids and they enjoyed the water slides, the park, the mini-golf and the outdoor movies. We packed up cammie and decided to push up towards Townsville. We made pretty good progress and upon arriving in Townsville decided to stop for a quick lunch and stretch stop and then head on to Mission Beach. All up it was a 6.5 hour drive, our longest yet but we were pleased to get the distance covered and to pull up at Mission Beach. As always the internet images filled us with great expectations of what we were to experience. The park was set on the beach only a road width away from the beach. The park had some good facilities for the kids and overall the park was fine. The beach was beautiful except for the fact that you couldn't swim there due to the presence of crocs and stingers. Mission Beach is famous for the presence of the Cassowary. All the way in on the drive are signs asking people to slow down and warning of cassowary crossings. After several days with not so much of a sniff of a cassowary we thought it was all a big conspiracy to lure in the unknowing tourist. We spent a day heading out to Tully and visiting the large golden gumboot. On a flight several years ago I was fortunate enough to see the documentary on the making of the gumboot which was a seachange meets grass roots (both ABC television series) documentary of a small town trying to make an impact on the tourist market. It was very funny and provided a special flavour to the visit to Tully. The gumboot stands over 6 metres tall and represents the highest amount of rainfall experienced in one year in Tully. We were able to walk up the gumboot to the top and look out, it was good fun. We also decided to go for a drive to Tully Gorge about 50 kms out of Tully. It was quite a drive but well worth it. Tully Gorge national park was an amazing sight with this massive wall of water meandering down amongst the rocks and trees. After spending some time on the coast it was refreshing to see a natural freshwater spot like this which was just beautiful.

As we drove back to Mission Beach we had nearly arrived when out of the corner of my eye I saw it, they mythical creature, the never to be seen Cassowary. It was slowly walking along a driveway with its two young birds in tow. Bec, like Peter Parker jumped out of the car still moving and ran into the bushes after the cassowary camera at the ready. She managed to get some photos and we had our cassowary experience, quite unexpected. The next day for homeschool Maggie wanted to research the cassowary to find out a bit more about it. It turns out that they are quite rare in Northern Queensland and were in fact badly affected by motor vehicle deaths, hence all the signage. They are apparently one of the most dangerous birds alive having even killed a 16 year old boy. The boy happened to be trying to beat it to death with a club when the bird in defence cut his throat with its very large and sharp claw. The boy died from his injuries. They are also very protective of their young and it was advised to keep your distance. Fortunately for us our naivety didn't cause us any damage and we survived our cassowary experience, more luck than good judgement. Peter Parker always gets her shot though, even risking life and limb to get it!

We met up with a family from the UK who we had been running in to at several places on our trip (one mile beach, Emerald Beach, Airlie Beach and now Mission Beach), they assured us they were not stalking us. The kids were building a good friendship and we asked if they wanted to join us for a bbq that evening. We had a lovely night and the kids had a great time. Stef and Clare and their kids were nice people and we all had a good time together. The next day it was time for us all to push on. We did the usual photo taking and sharing of details and we were off to Cairns. Mission Beach was okay but really didn't make a huge impact on us as an experience. Tully Gorge was a cracker and I think next time we would choose to stay in the National Park there. Because of our efforts to push up to Mission Beach we only had a short drive in to Cairns that day. We timed our trip to arrive at Sue and Eric's just after Jen and Nick got in from their flight and everything worked to plan. Eric had prepared a nice late lunch for us and we all had a great time catching up. That night we slept in a real bed and were glad not to have to set up and pack up cammie for a few days. The next day we ventured down the esplanade at Cairns which despite the lagoon being closed for maintenance there was more than enough activity to keep all of us entertained for the afternoon. The following day we all had a quiet day, Gus was overdue a good sleep and the girls were getting tired after their late night 'Barry Evil' exploits with Popsy and tropical scoppa marathon. We have a couple more days in Cairns before turning and slowly heading for home. Bye for now, Nick, Bec and the crew.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

UP, Up We Go……

We have just pulled into Airlie Beach this morning and it has been an interesting ride up the coast of central Queensland. Mooloolaba was a great stop providing us the opportunity to catch up with old friends and visit all of our favourite parts of the Sunshine Coast. We ate out at our favourite restaurants including having a real iced coffee at the Baked Poetry café in Peregian and then on to Aromas for lunch in Hastings Street Noosa. Our spot in Mooloolaba was near perfect and absolute beachfront. Unfortunately our neighbour parked himself all of two metres from our caper and chain smoked for the final four days of our stay which was very disappointing. The clean fresh air was not quite the same and poor little Gussy had to endure smoke coming into his bed day and night. Needless to say we ended up spending a lot of time getting out and about including some special beach walks. At one stage the girls packed their backpack with supplies including first aid, sleeping bag, hammer, binoculars amongst other items and headed down to the beach for a 'woman vs wild' experience. They collected dead crabs to eat, found a small cave to set up camp and made a fire to sit by. Aren't kids and their imaginations just fascinating to watch? The girls have been doing well with their homeschool, in fact Maggie has finished her year 2 maths work and her teacher has put her up to year 3 maths for the remainder of our time, she feels very special! Indy went on to her college website and downloaded a heap of work from her teacher which sent her head spinning for a few days. True to form though Indy sat down and planned her way forward. We had a nice evening with our friends Gary and Judy having drinks by the beach before being joined by Amber and Corey for pizzas and an opportunity for a catch up. Judy and Amber are both very close friends of ours and we have so many special memories of our time with them up here. Our final night we headed over to the Westys and the kids disappeared upstairs for the night while Gus was in boy heaven with the biggest box of cars and trains you have ever seen. The three Westy boys had accumulated good supplies over the years and Gus took full advantage. Dave and Dan cooked us up some roast ckicken and vegies which was very thoughtful given we haven't had an oven cooked meal for some time, we had a great night. We offloaded our surfboards and guitars at the Westys to lighten the load a little and packed for the trip up to Cairns. As we were leaving Mooloolaba we drove past the road sign which read over 1600km to Cairns. We plugged in Mt Martha into the GPS which said 1800 km to home. It was quite sobering to realise just how far we had come yet we still had so far to travel.

Our first stop we pushed up past Bundaberg to a small beach side town called Bargara. We were in a park just off the beach which was ok, probably quite nice but compared to what we were used to it seemed a little average. Unfortunately Gus had surrended to the lurgy and was quite unwell. We went to the doctors for an assurance that there was nothing serious and got the all clear to proceed. I unfortunately had a bit of work to do, a tender for an important client, that took up some time and we ended up in Bundaberg couriering it to Victoria before moving on up the coast. We made it all the way to Rockhampton for our next stop. Again a pretty average stop in a large regional centre. Park was ok, pools were very cold and another trip to the doctors, this time for antibiotics for Gus. Getting the medicine was one thing, getting it into the little man was proving a whole other challenge. He is at that stage now where if he doesn't want to do something he just won't do it. We tried talking to him, bribing him, roughing him up, nothing was working. In the end he just got so sick that at one point he just laid back and took his medicine. From that point forward he behaved and within a matter of a day or two he was back on his feet and looking much better. We had a hit of tennis and a swim in the pool before packing up and heading on again. You will notice the descriptions getting shorter as the places are getting less interesting as we go. After two fairly average stops we were hoping for something a little special. Bec had discovered a little spot called Cape Hillsborough national park which was a little off the beaten track but took us out of the next regional centre just past Mackay and back to the coast. We weren't sure what to expect, but again that is the great part of this trip, just rocking up with fingers crossed and seeing what you get. Well thankyou God, this was a cracker of a spot. Again we were right on the beach with just such a beautiful aspect. It was highly tidal so in the morning the sand goes on forever and then at other points in the day the tide comes in and the beach all but disappears. There were millions of tiny crabs on the beach that spent the day rolling these little balls of sand which after a few hours covered the entire beach, it was quite a sight. the tide comes in and the beach all but disappears. There were millions of tiny crabs on the beach that spent the day rolling these little balls of sand which after a few hours covered the entire beach, it was quite a sight. It was very special to be back on the beach and back to our routine of morning cuppas walking on the beach letting Gus run free as far as he wanted to.

Yesterday was a special day being Maggie's 8th birthday. Indy went to a lot of trouble decorating the camper and we all made an extra fuss of Mags given she had no family or friends at her party and we had no phone reception so she didn't get her usual birthday calls from all of her admirers. We woke up to pressies on the bed and then Indy made Mags her breakfast of pancakes with maple syrup and salt and vinegar chips on the side, just the way she likes it. We went out for a beach walk and were hoping to cross the causeway to a little island called Orchid Island only to find that the tide had come in and there was no longer a causeway. No bother, we just turned North and headed the other way along the beach exploring the coast. Indy found a large rock formation just in the water and proceed to take her and Maggie up to the top (refer the photo). It was actually quite high and Indy remarked on the way down that this was the "amazing experience of her life". The park had a very nice pool which we took full advantage of as the girls were given a day off of homeschool for Maggie's birthday. We couldn't bake a cake for Mags but put together a cake made up of lamingtons and snow mallows which was a definite hit. After a few party games and lunch we decided to try the causeway to Orchid Island in the afternoon with the tide abating. Once we got to the causeway we realised it was not going to be an easy walk. With no shoes on Indy and I we tried to walk on the pile of rocks that was the bridge to the island only to find many of them covered in oyster shells. Whilst carrying Gus I lost my footing a little and as I reached for balance and put my foot down I sliced the bottom of my foot on several oyster shells and our adventure to Orchid Island was over. Still we enjoyed a long and quiet stroll along the beach back to our camper. There were some beautiful shells to find as well as this gold fleck in the sand that was quite unique. Gus has got into a habit of rock throwing at the moment which is not a real problem except for two things, one he likes to throw them at our car, and two he sometimes throws them straight up in the air which also means they come straight down from the air. On the way back he did one of his big throws, straight up and down and on his head producing a nice little egg on his head for his troubles. Indy and Mags grabbed a container for their sand crab catch and we all made the leisurely stroll back to the camper. That evening we enjoyed the fish and chips put on by the park managers and Mags chose one of her favourite movies for us to watch. During the movie Mags fell asleep and proceeded to snore her way through the final stages of the movie and her birthday. Needless to say she had a wonderful day and Indy was the perfect big sister, who even presented Mags with a voucher for 5 favours (including hugs and kisses if required). It was a great day.

The park was a good one, frequented by the usual evening visits from the bats, several kangaroos (one that thought it was a dog lying out the front of someone's caravan dead to the world asleep, very cute), wasps (including a nest not far from our camper), crabs, hermit crabs, a very inquisitive possum and a very cute little green tree frog. This morning on our final morning we went for one last long and slow stroll (or should I say limp) along the beach. As we were down there (tide out this time) three kangaroos came hopping down to the water's edge. Two of them were obviously vying for pack position and proceeded to spar on in front of us as we enjoyed their company. Here we were just Bec, Gus and I and three kangaroos on this long stretch of beach, it was quite beautiful. This stop was just what we needed after several long drives and a couple of average stops. We are on a bit of a mission getting up to Cairns and this is the most driving we have done with the most number of short stops and it is getting to be a bit of a grind. This stop was just what we needed though. This morning we packed up and fortunately only had a short drive of about 130kms from Cape Hillsborough to Airlie Beach. As usual there are the grey nomads cruising around Australia at 75km an hour, quite dangerous really. At one point we saw coming in the other direction one nomad with about 6 semi trailers, 4 caravans and about 10 cars banked up behind it. I am not sure why they haven't learnt the art of pulling over to let the traffic by, it isn't that hard. We will often pull across to the side, slow down a few k's and let the cars go by, it takes all of the stress out of the drive for everybody. Anyway we have decided to stay at a big 4 park to give the kids a few activities to do (waterslides, jumping pillow, mini golf, outdoor cinema etc) and we have also gone for the ensuite site. The ensuite site, equipped with our very own toilet and shower is like heaven after you have endured the long night walks to the toilet and stood lining up for your shower at night. The kids love being able to go to the toilet at any time and have their own shower. We had a quick drive into the town this morning and it looks amazing, with a large lagoon for the kids to enjoy and an amazing marina. We are looking at booking a trip out to the reef in the next couple of days which should be very special and something we are really looking forward to. We will stay here for 3-4 nights before pressing on to Townsville and then Cairns. It will be great to spend a few nights here, kids are happy, no driving and get to see the reef. After all the reef is a big part of why we have made the journey up here. We are planning to go by boat to knuckle reef on a cruiser that hooks up with a pontoon, has a waterslide for the kids, has snorkelling, viewing chambers in the boat and lunch and other snacks provided through the day. We can't wait. The weather is a very pleasant 27 degrees and calm. That's all for now, talk with you soon.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Heading to an old favourite….

As I sit and type this blog I look out the back of the annexe through our window and we are five metres to the sand and about twenty five metres to the water. There is nothing between us and the incredible Mooloolaba beach and we can sit and have our morning cuppa and watch the kids play in the rockpools below our camper. We have stayed in some beautiful places on the trip so far but none can top the beach frontage of the Mooloolaba beach caravan strip. In this blog you will find we have experienced great friends, great waves, changes in travel plans, Nick trying to be a real man (which ofcourse you all know that I am not) the dreaded lurgy and death threats! That should be enough to keep you interested for a few extra paragraphs, this one is a real page turner. About a week ago we left our friends the Woodsys and their little patch of paradise at Emerald Beach and headed up to Ballina, just south of the Qld border to meet up with our friends the Westys. Our departure from Emerald went quite smoothly and we arrived in Ballina to a near empty park and what ended up being a great site to stay. We arrived a day earlier than just about everybody else which gave us a chance to experience the beauty of Ballina before the park filled to capacity due to a Qld long weekend. It literally went from empty to full in 24 hours with a park full of long weekend revellers. Our site was situated just above the Westys site and their friends so was perfect for all. Upon arriving in Ballina though we ventured into our first experience of an unpowered site, much to Maggie's disgust, no TV for 5 days. As we were setting up in the late afternoon we went to turn on our solar power for our lights and nothing happened, another problem on a fairly long list of failures with our new Jayco van. As we chased the sunset to end of day Bec rushed out to see what she could do only to call a little later saying light the candles she had no luck finding any supplies. As I was finalising the set up the girls were inside setting up candles and torches and eeking out the last of the laptop battery watching a movie keeping Gus entertained. The girls were enjoying the adventure. Fortunately though at her last stop a kind lady offered to show her to a place where she could find some lamps for us which was good given it gets pretty dark at night when you have no lights, funny about that! The girls were actually disappointed when Bec returned with lamps and wanted us to pretend we had no lights. Unfortunately little man had caught the lurgy and had a very high fever although with true Gusto it was only to last 24 hours before he was again running through rockpools naked looking for nip nips (crabs). We finalised our set up and enjoyed our chickpea stew by candlelight in the annexe and all was well.

The following morning we headed out to the shops to let everyone have some space as they arrived to set up. We returned to find the Westys all set up and ready for a great weekend. It was great to see the guys and this was a perfect setting for a family catch up. Soon enough the kids were off and playing and we all had a chance to settle in and catch up. Over the past couple of weeks I have been working on my beer drinking abilities with Joe and thought I would put it to the test with Westy. Having seen his esky full with Tinnys for the weekend I decided it was high time I went out and grabbed myself an esky which I promptly did and filled it with a carton of beer topped up with ice. This was my weekend to drink myself an esky full of beer and prove myself to be a real man! Well high hopes fell well short of expectations which I am sure will be no surprise with my best effort being about 3 beers in a sitting, maybe four at a push and at the end of the weekend there was more full bottles than empties, an absolute failure by anyone's measure. The surf was incredible at Ballina, so too were the crowds and I took my time getting in to the water. Over the weekend I became more confident and ended up having some great waves. Great to see Dan and Dave and the kids, it has been a while and we really enjoyed our time with them. Dave has a new dragon tattoo on his arm which Gus thought was fantastic and he spent the whole weekend referring to Dave as Dragon Man and running around saying 'I want one' referring to the tattoo. The park was filled with wild turkeys who were chased around the park all weekend by our pack of kids, who looked more like a hungry angry mob. Between all of the families I think we had 14 kids, so you can imagine the pack of them running after these poor bush turkeys. On the first night we were the first to light our fire so we became the home base and where there is fire and marshmallows there will be children and so we became very popular campsite. Between that many kids a bag of mallows doesn't stand a chance.

On the Sunday evening it was clear the park was starting to liven up with the noise levels increasing, unfortunately in the site right next to ours. The couple next to us, who for the whole weekend up to this point had been quiet, respectful and friendly decided it was time to let their hair down (ironic seeing that he was bald) and with a few friends over drank well into the next day. Ofcourse their drinking area was all of about 3 metres from where Bec and Gus were trying to sleep. It doesn't end there ofcourse, at about 1.30am I heard this very loud yelling with one man accusing another man of going into his girlfriend's tent. The language was very loud and very colourful albeit also very offensive. Just as they arked up I heard Bec unzip the window and started to tell the men what she thought of them, as I suggested that might not be a good idea given their state of intoxication Bec worked this out and stopped mid sentence and let them have their stoush. It was one of those moments where you just sit there waiting to hear the inevitable progression into a fist fight and knowing that you are about to hear one of the worst sounds there is, a fist hitting another person's head. The yelling went on for some time, fortunately no fist fight followed. What did follow though was our once quiet neighbour starting to threaten in very loud and aggressive language to get in his car and start driving through tents, getting his knife out to stab people with and getting out his baseball bat to bash people with. He then went on to abuse his friend who we thought was the girl he was actually looking to protect in the first place. All the while the security guard was apparently on site doing very little to calm the situation down. After some time of yelling, swearing and threats our neighbour settled down and took a quick nap before getting up to play his blues music and brag about his antics on his mobile phone until about 4.30 in the morning. Needless to say Gus was very unsettled and Bec and I wouldn't have slept more than an hour or two for the night. The next morning we reported the whole thing to the park manager who apparently had the security guard's report which said he warned the site about noise at about 11.30 am, that was it. As I later found out from Bec we think the security guard may have been enjoying a few drinks with our neighbours throughout the evening so was in some way implicated in the whole debacle. Anyway Wayne the camp manager walked up to our neighbour and said he had 30 mins to pack up and get out of the park or he would pack them up himself. As he was packing up he made a feeble attempt at trying to explain to Bec that he was simply trying to protect his girlfriend, no apology and a very shoddy attempt. You can imagine Bec's response which was short and sharp as she reminded him that she actually heard every word he said and that it was disgraceful. Not much of an evening but ofcourse all good blog material!

By Monday the park starting emptying pretty quickly and we had the fortune to be able to sit back and just watch everyone leave and head back to normal life. It was again a reminder of just how fortunate we are and we enjoyed not having to head back to work just yet. That afternoon we decided to start our pack up to make things a little easier in the morning so I packed the annexe walls and the pantry. That evening there was only about half a dozen sites being used and we enjoyed the quiet and freedom that an empty park can provide. We set our fire, played spotlight with the bats flying above, witnessed a couple of shooting stars in the clear evening sky and had a nice piece of steak for dinner. As I headed to bed I left Indy and big Mama by the fire rugged up and enjoying their evening. A little later the girls came into bed and a few minutes later, really from nowhere, the rain started. Not a few drops but a torrent of rain that proceeded to fall for the next 18 hours of our journey. By morning thanks to the fact that I had packed the annexe walls everything was drenched and Bec and I proceeded to do a rain pack up, the worst of all. There was no let up with the rain and we decided to push on regardless, packed the camper and headed north to the Sunshine Coast. We decided to skip Stradbroke Island and continue to push up north to ensure we make it all the way to Cairns. The Westys agreed that we could all head to Straddie on our way back down the coast so we won't be missing out. On the way we worked through our options, Maroochydore, Coolum or Mooloolaba. Bec was very keen on Mooloolaba and gently persuaded us all on its merits and sure enough she was spot on, Mooloolaba strip is a cracker of a place and we will post a few photos on our blog in the next few days to give you an idea of just how great a spot this is. In many ways coming up here to the sunny coast is like coming home. This is the place where in some ways Indy grew up as we spent many wonderful trips up here with great friends, great work and great experiences. Yesterday Bec and I awoke with the lurgy but didn't let is stop us from enjoying the surf at Alex headlands followed by a great brunch at our favourite little spot Raw Energy. As we were enjoying our brunch Gus quietly proceeded to demolish Bec and my smoothy and we didn't think too much of it at the time. The girls went for a shop and I took Gus back for his day sleep. Usually Gus is like clockwork with his sleep, give him his dummy and put him in bed and off he goes, not today. He gradually wound himself up to an above normal hyperactive state, bouncing around on the camper bed and putting on a real show with eyes absolutely wired. We think there must have been something in the smoothy that was akin to red bull and Gus was riding the high! An hour or so later he crashed back to earth and slept like a baby but we enjoyed the show for the time it was on. In the afternoon Maggie and I went for a run, she was determined to do it and did pretty well as we ventured along the coast running track. Back for showers and out for Augellos pizza at the park and watched the fire twirlers on the beach and listened to the bongo drums by the shore. Another great experience to remember. So life goes on as we head up the coast on our pilgrimage to North Queensland. The weather on the sunny coast is living up to its name with beautiful sunny days and great waves. Indy has just cooked up a batch of pancakes and Bec is expecting her morning coffee so it is time to say goodbye for now.